Nitāi: “One who knowingly sees this difference between the body and the owner of the body and can understand the process of liberation from this bondage also attains to the supreme goal.”
Prabhupāda: In the beginning of this chapter, Arjuna inquired,
prakṛtiṁ puruṣaṁ caiva
kṣetraṁ kṣetra-jñam eva ca
etad veditum icchāmi
jñānaṁ jñeyaṁ ca keśava
Yesterday evening, those gentlemen who came from Protestant Church?
Prabhupāda: So they’re talking about what is knowledge. Yes. This is very good question, what is knowledge. So Arjuna wanted to know this knowledge from Kṛṣṇa. Knowledge means to understand this body and the soul. Kṣetra-kṣetra-jña. Kṣetra means this body, and kṣetra-jña means the owner of the body. Just like if you study your body… “What is this?” Just like we ask any child. Sometimes we play with the child. We ask, “What is this?” He’ll say, “My hand,” or “My head.” So even the child can say that the hand is different from him. We also say, “This is my hand,” “This is my leg,” “This is my head.” We never say, “I head,” or “I hand.” No. “My hand.” It is very simple thing.
So Kṛṣṇa, being asked by Arjuna, He’s giving the knowledge that this body is called kṣetra. Kṣetra means field of activities. Just like in agricultural land. You get a piece of land, and you produce your own food grain, or as you like. The government gives you a piece of land, and you have to pay a little tax, and you can grow your food grains as you like. Similarly, as we wanted, Kṛṣṇa has given us this body. Now we can work with this body as we like. If you want, you can utilize this body for higher elevation, or you can utilize this body for your nonsense purpose and go to hell. That is your choice.
Just like somebody is using this body, undergoing austerities, penance, according to the spiritual, regulative life, and one man is using this body only for sense gratification, drinking and sex. So it is my choice, to utilize this body as I like, and I also reap the result. The same example: You are given a field, a piece of land. You can grow twice, thrice in a year very nice foodstuff, sometimes pulses, sometimes paddy, sometimes the mustard seed. Any land… In India, we have seen that a cultivator produces three, four kind of food grains in a year. That is the system… (aside:) Not this…
That is the system that in India every man is producing his food grains independently. Now it is stopped. Formerly, all these men, they used to produce their food grain. So they used to work for three months in a year, and they could stock the whole year’s eatable food grains. Life was very simple. After all, you require to eat. So this Vedic civilization was that keep some land and keep some cows. Then your whole economic question is solved.
Now, in this country, Geneva, I heard there is… I am tasting the milk, first-class milk. I think the world’s best milk. Unless one has got his own cows, one cannot get such nice milk. But I hear also that because there is excess production of milk, they have decided to kill twenty-thousand cows.
Devotee: Last year, they decided to do it, but apparently they didn’t do it. They wanted to do it.
Prabhupāda: Just see how much foolish proposal it is. So for want of God consciousness, this mischievous intelligence can be found. The whole economic question can be solved. If you have got excess, then you can trade, you can send to some place where there is scarcity. But every man should produce his own food. That is Vedic culture. You get a piece of land and produce your family’s foodstuff.
But they are… What they are doing? In Australia, in Africa, they have got enough land, but the government… Maybe they have no sufficient men to utilize the land, but they won’t allow any outsider to go there who can produce. I have seen in Africa. Very, very large tract of land was lying vacant, nobody is producing any food. They are producing coffee. That is not the local men. The Britishers who have gone there, They are producing coffee, tea, and keeping some cows for slaughtering. This is going on. In Australia, also, I have seen.
Even some priestly class. They invited me, received me, received me very well. So one of the priests, he inquired that “Why our Christian religion is dwindling? What we have done?” And actually, that’s a fact. I have seen, in London at least, the churches are for sale. Nobody’s going to the church. Some of the churches have been taken for making go-down, storehouse or some factory. Many hundreds of thousands… In London there are many churches. Churches are there in New York also, other places. Formerly, people were religious. It doesn’t matter whether one constructed temple or church. It doesn’t matter. There was prayer to the Supreme. But now people are forgetting.
I don’t find many churches here in Geneva. They don’t like to go to church here?
Guru-gaurāṅga: They say they do.
Guru-gaurāṅga: They say they do.
Prabhupāda: No, but don’t find many churches here. So this is not very good sign. People should eat sumptuously, not overeating. Overeating is bad. Not undereating. Yuktāhāra-vihārasya yogo bhavati siddhaye. Yuktāhāra, as much as you require, you must eat. Yajñārthe… Annād bhavanti bhūtāni [Bg. 3.14]. Either human being or an animal, they must get sufficient food, and that means anna, food grains. So I have studied it very thoroughly. If people produce food grain in all the lands available all over the world, they can feed ten times population than it is at present. Kṛṣṇa has made such arrangement.
In the Īśopaniṣad, it is said, pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaṁ pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate [Īśopaniṣad, Invocation]. In the creation of Kṛṣṇa, there cannot be any scarcity. Everything is sufficiently there. Pūrṇam, it is complete, perfectly made, either this planet, that planet. Everywhere, the living entities are there, and Kṛṣṇa has made provision for every one of them. There is no question of scarcity. But people are not obeying the orders of Kṛṣṇa or the authorities, that “You produce…” Annād bhavanti bhūtāni [Bg. 3.14]. Even in Bible, it is said, “Thou shalt not kill.” They are not producing food grains, and they are killing the animals and eating.
How they will be happy? It is not possible. Most sinful activities. You produce your food. The bull will help you. And the cows will supply you milk. They are considered to be father and mother. Just like father earns money for feeding the children, similarly, the bulls help producing, plowing, producing food grains, and the cow gives milk, mother. And what is this civilization, killing father and mother? This is not good civilization. It will not stay. There will be catastrophe, waiting. Many times it has happened, and it will happen because transgressing the law of nature, or laws of God, is most sinful. That is sinful.
Just like you become criminal by transgressing the law of state, similarly, when you transgress the law of God, then you are sinful. So this example is given: idaṁ śarīraṁ kṣetram. That means to own a certain piece of land is the basic civilization. Everyone must have a portion of land to produce his food. There will be no economic problem.
And we have seen even in our childhood that poor men, the laborer class, servant, they came from village in the town. We were residents of town, Calcutta, The servants class, they would come… Everywhere, not in Calcutta, everywhere. The villagers would come, and the small salary. Even in our young days, we were paying salaries to the servants, twelve rupees, fourteen rupees, without any food. And still they would save at least ten to twelve rupees out of that. And this money, the servant would send to his wife at home, and as soon as there is two hundred rupees, he’ll purchase a piece of land. And in this way, when he has got sufficient land for producing food for the whole family, then he would no more come to city for working. We have seen it.
That means as soon as one has a land sufficient to produce, he is safe. His food problem—that is the real problem—is solved. So people are not being trained up to… In America, I have seen. Now the farmers, the father is working on the farm, and the sons, they do not come. They live in the city. This is the tendency all over the world. They are not producing food grains. Therefore there is scarcity. There is scarcity of…
Especially in a country like India where the population is very big and there is no land available, there must be scarcity of food. Especially the Britishers, they have divided India: Pakistan and Hindustan. So all the food grains are there on the Pakistan side, and in the Hindustan side all the industries are there. So they are fighting. They have no industrial facilities, and they have no agricultural facilities. All policies. They would fight all along. The Britishers wanted that “You have taken your independence. All right, you’ll suffer all the time, fighting between your…” This was a policy. So it is going on nicely.
So anyway, the whole world situation is degrading, that people are not producing their own food. This is the problem, real problem. Kṣetra-kṣetra-jña. This example is given. As every man must possess a piece of land… Therefore this… Because it is very common thing, this example has been given. Kṣetra-kṣetra-jña.
So as we till our land and gets foodstuff according to my labor, according to my intelligence… Food grains I can produce once twice, thrice, if I work hard. Generally, they work two times: three months, three months. And those who are very lazy, they work three months. But even working for three months, they can acquire foodstuffs for the whole year. That I have seen. So similarly, as we get some land and work for ourself, similarly, this body is also like that land. And I am… This “I,” the soul, I can reap good result or bad result as I work with this body. This is very similar.
This is knowledge. Kṛṣṇa says, idaṁ śarīraṁ kaunteya kṣetram [Bg. 13.2]. Kṛṣṇa does not say that “Arjuna, you are this body.” That is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā. Dehino ‘smin yathā dehe [Bg. 2.13]. Within this body, the owner of the body is there. This is the beginning of knowledge. So this knowledge is lacking. Nobody knows that “I am within this body.” Everyone is thinking, “I am this body.” I am American, I am Indian, I am Czechoslovakian, or I am Swiss, and… Everyone is thinking. That means they have no knowledge. All fools and rascals. So the all fools and rascals civilization, how we can be happy?
There must be intelligence. They have no intelligence. They are thinking of philanthropic work, but still thinking that “I am this body.” So what that philanthropic work will do? We… With ignorance, with no knowledge, whatever you do, it is foolish. As there are… Sometimes they divide, four classes of men: lazy intelligent, active intelligent, and lazy fool and active fool. The active fool is fourth-class because whatever he’ll do, it is foolish. So result will not be very good. Active fool. So lazy fool is better than the active fool.
Just like the monkey. It is active fool. In your country, in the Western country, you don’t see many monkeys. But in India, there are many monkeys. As soon as a monkey will come, he will create some mischief. He’s very busy, jumping here, there, here, here, there, but always creating mischief. So modern civilization… And the Darwin’s theory is that they have come from monkey. (laughter) So they are also doing like that, jumping like monkey, this way, that way, this way, that way, but always creating mischief.
So this is very good example, that idaṁ śarīraṁ kṣetram. He has given, God has given you a piece of land, this body. Now you work. You make your future with this body. Karmaṇā… Because the body is produced according to my karma. Otherwise, why there are so many varieties of body? We are all human beings. Everyone, we are, we possess two hands, two legs. Still, the bodies are different. We don’t find anybody’s body is exactly equal to the other. No. Because we have got different mentality. Every one of us, we are individual soul; we have got different mentality, different propensities, different ideas. So in this way we have got different bodies. This is the science.
Science, they are searching out so many things, but they do… Why they cannot explain that why there are varieties of body. Why not exactly equal human being exactly of the same feature, same…? Just like we do some… In mold, the, all the dolls come out of the same body. It is not like that. For each and every living entity, Kṛṣṇa has to prepare a different type of body. Therefore we have got different types of body according to karma.
So this is knowledge, that “I have got this body as field.” As one gets the land for cultivating his food grains, according to his labor, according to his choice, similarly, we have got this field of activity. Now we can make our future good or bad according to our choice. Idaṁ śarīraṁ kaunteya kṣetram iti abhidhīyate [Bg. 13.2]. This is called kṣetra, working land.
Just like father gives some capital to the son: “You do some business.” Now, you lose the money or increase it hundred times; that depends on you. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa has given us. We wanted to enjoy this material world, and Kṛṣṇa has given us. The first beginning body is Brahmā, very exalted body. But on account of our abominable activities, from Brahmā, we come down to become the worm of stool. This is called karma, kṣetra.
There are eight million four hundred thousand species of life, and according to our work, we get some body, some type of body. And if we work in the modes of goodness, then we get still better body in higher planetary system, long duration of life, better standard of living condition, more and more, thousand times, thousand times. Whatever comforts and facilities we have got here on this planet, if we work in the modes of goodness, then we get more and more facilities.
Similarly, if we work just like animals, then we are degraded more and more downwards. Tala, Atala, Talātala, Pātāla, like that. There are planetary systems, and similarly, there are higher planetary system. You can see every day. Each and every star means they are different planetary system. So according to your work, you are promoted or degraded or you keep here.
ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthā
madhye tiṣṭhanti rājasāḥ
adho gacchanti tāmasāḥ
It is up to you. In another place, Kṛṣṇa says,
yānti deva-vratā devān
pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ
bhūtāni yānti bhūtejyā
yānti mad-yājino ‘pi mām
The same thing. If you desire, you can promote yourself to the higher—that is within the material world—higher planetary system for better comfort of life, better, long duration of life. That you can go. Yānti deva-vratā devān.
Just like if you come to Europe… At least… Of course, we are different men. We are preaching. But other Indians, they come, they come here by dressing like European, European coat, pant. So just we have to arrange for going to another country, passport, visa and dress and so many things. Similarly, if you want to go to the planets of the demigods, you have to prepare yourself. Yānti deva-vratā devān [Bg. 9.25]. Deva-vratāḥ, they can go. Similarly, pitṛ-vratāḥ, they can go Pitṛloka. There are other planets. And bhūtejyāḥ, if you want to remain here, then you become nationalist and this, that, so many…
“And if you like, you can go to Me also.” Mad-yājino ‘pi yānti mām. Those who are trying to promote themselves in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, Kṛṣṇa says mad-yājinaḥ, “Those who are worshiping Me, they come to Me.” So now it is your choice. This body is given to you. Now you make your choice whether you want to have, in this material world, better facilities, better duration of life, or if you want to degrade yourself to the animal life, or if you want to go to Kṛṣṇaloka, everything, whatever you want, you can get. And this is the chance, this human form of body. You make your choice. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, idaṁ śarīraṁ kaunteya kṣetram iti abhidhīyate [Bg. 13.2]. It is just like the land of cultivation. Now you cultivate.
idaṁ śarīraṁ kaunteya
kṣetram ity abhidhīyate
etad yo vetti taṁ prāhuḥ
kṣetra-jñaḥ iti tad-vidaḥ
And… Just like the land and the proprietor of land. The proprietor of the land knows that “This is my land.” It is not “I land.” That is ignorance. So people are taking this, that “I am this body.” That is ignorance. If they know, if one knows that “I am not this body; I am proprietor of this body, I’ll have to work with this body for my future,” then that is knowledge. Etad yo vetti kṣetra-jña, knower, one who knows. That is the beginning of knowledge. Then Kṛṣṇa says,
kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi
yat taj jñānaṁ mataṁ mama
Kṛṣṇa is giving His opinion, the Supreme Authority, that “If you want to know, if you want to be in knowledge, this is knowledge.” What is that? “That this body, you are not this body; you are the owner of the body.
And you should know also that the there is another person. As you are a person, you are owner of this body, there is another person.” Who is that? “That is I am.” Kṛṣṇa says. Kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi: “I am also owner of this body.” Actually Kṛṣṇa is the owner of the body. Just like in a, in an apartment, there is the occupier and the landlord. So there are two men concerned. I do not know what is the system here. In India, there are two kinds of taxes, the occupier tax and the landlord’s tax. Two kinds of taxes. So similarly, this body, I, the living entity, I am the occupier. I am not the owner. Although occupier is, to some extent, owner. But the real owner is the landlord.
Similarly, Kṛṣṇa is the real owner of this body because Kṛṣṇa has given me this body just to occupy it and work. So far. Not that I am the actual proprietor of this body. So when actually, one comes to this knowledge that “I am not this body”—this is one knowledge—and one comes to know also that “I am not proprietor, actual proprietor, of this body”… How can I be actual proprietor of this body? If you have got knowledge… Because this body is made of material ingredients.
So what are these material ingredients? Earth, water, fire, air, ether—they are physical elements. They are Kṛṣṇa’s energies. So this body made by Kṛṣṇa’s energy. And I, the person, I am also part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. We are two energies. I, as living entity, I am also the energy, superior energy. And this material body, that is also Kṛṣṇa’s energy. I cannot prepare this body if I like. No. The body is made by Kṛṣṇa through the agency of this material energy, prakṛti. Prakṛti means the material energy. Kṛṣṇa will say that mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram [Bg. 9.10]. This body is made by the material nature under the order of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is with you. Therefore He says, kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi [Bg. 13.3], that “I am also one of the occupiers of this body.” That is Paramātmā. So Kṛṣṇa is so kind that He is taking note of my all desires, and as I desire, Kṛṣṇa orders the material energy to prepare a suitable body for me, and I live there. This is knowledge. This is knowledge, that within this body…
In the Upaniṣads also it is explained that in this tree—the body’s taken as tree—there are two birds sitting as friends. One, the living entity, and the other is the Supersoul, Paramātmā, ātmā and Paramātmā.
So Kṛṣṇa is so kind that actually He’s supplying my order. I want to eat like tiger. Kṛṣṇa is ordering material nature, “Well, he wants a tiger’s body. Give him a tiger’s body.” I want to eat like hogs and dogs. Kṛṣṇa orders material…, “Give him a body like a hog. He can eat very peacefully all kinds of stools.” That’s all. This is going on. This is going on. And if I want a body to serve Kṛṣṇa, he’ll give us. Ye yathā mām… This is the meaning of ye yathā māṁ prapadyant [Bg. 4.11]e. “As you desire, I give you. If you want a body to serve Me, you’ll get a Vaiṣṇava body, and you will be able to serve Kṛṣṇa.” And if you want to serve cats and dogs, then you get a cats and dogs body.
Kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo ‘sya [Bg. 13.22]. Guṇa means… According to the guṇa, you make your desire, That is contamination. And as there is contamination, as there is similar disease, similarly, as we desire similar body, we can get by the order of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa gives order because we want it. Kṛṣṇa does not force you to enter into the dog’s body or hog’s body or demigod’s body or human being’s body, but as we create situation by desire, Kṛṣṇa gives us the facility to possess such body, and we work on, and we reap another result. This is called material existence. Thank you very much. (end)